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How The Film Lady Bird Has Inspired My Writing

Lady Bird, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, is a very true and authentic coming of age film. It centers around Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson as she navigates her senior year of high school. I consider this to be my favorite movie for multiple reasons, but I think the main reason is for the authenticity in the story and the writing. Coming-of-age films are exactly the genre of screenplay writing that I feel most drawn to. and I think Gerwig writes one in a way I had never seen before. I think when we think of coming-of-age films, we think of a cheesy high school movie where the biggest issue is prom or something like that. I don’t think we ever stop growing and coming of age so to speak. I think a lot of times people think that high schoolers, and college-aged people are a mess and need someone to tell them what to do. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, at that age you know what you want or you have an idea, you just don’t know how to navigate it. When you’re young, everything feels so much larger than life, you feel every emotion that much harder, everything feels so new and undiscovered. Before Lady Bird, I had never seen a movie that encapsulated what high school felt like for me. Obviously my high school experience wasn’t exactly like Lady Bird’s, but I felt make similarities. That only further attests to Gerwig’s writing and her ability to create a natural dialogue and relationships between characters.

One of the things that is done so well in the film is the way she uses characters actions to move the story along and not use words when they are not needed. The heart of this film is Lady Bird’s relationship with her mother. I have never seen a better depiction of a teenage girl’s relationship with her mother before. Coming from experience, when you’re in high school you think your parents, especially your mom when you’re a girl, are the most infuriating people. You genuinely believe that she doesn’t know a single thing about being a teenager and all the feelings you’re feeling. The last scene of the movie is so beautifully written and really just ties together this complicated relationship between these two characters. Lady Bird has just left the hospital after being taken in because she was so drunk and she is wondering around New York. She realizes that it’s Sunday so she goes to a church. After leaving the church she calls her mom and leaves a voicemail for her talking about what it felt like driving through her hometown for the first time and that she loves her. While this is happening, we are shown a montage of Lady Bird driving, as well as her mother. Going away to college really makes you realize just how important of a person your mom is and just how much you really didn’t appreciate her and everything she has done for you.

Everytime I rewatch Lady Bird (which is quite often) I find new things that inspire my writing. Not only does it inspire dialogue, but it also inspires actions as well what types of themes I am trying to portray in my story. The film takes place in 2002 so there is already a sense of nostalgia in that, but it also makes you reflect of your high school experience and the nostalgia of senior year and the moving on and growing up. I remember senior year being this really bittersweet feeling of being excited to graduate and move on but also being afraid of the unknown of this new world you’re about to enter. The film makes me reflect on all these fond memories i have from when I was seventeen. It allows me to draw inspiration from. my life and utilize it to tell a story. Just like Gerwig, I want people to feels like sense of joy and sadness through my storytelling. I wanna be able to connect with people through characters and character relationships. It kind of gives you a sense of relief being able to see a relationship that so well reflects one that you have in your real life. This movie also showed me to appreciate life a little more. Something about watching this girls senior year of high school play out in this hour and a half movie made me realize how much I really didn’t appreciate mine enough when I was living it. We tend to take all these small moments in our lives for granted and don’t realize it til it’s too late. Through writing I want to be able to help people appreciate these moments in their lives a little more, the power of words isn’t just something that is in effect with books and poems, movies are made out of words, movies have this comforting feeling, writing them is such a liberating feeling.

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